By Accountable Care Journal-
Patients in ‘greatest need’ will no longer need to pay NHS hospital car parking after April 2020.
The announcement follows the election manifesto pledge from the Conservatives last month. The new concessions are expected to include all 206 NHS Trusts in England to provide free car parking to NHS patients, visitors and some groups of people disproportionately impacted by daily or hourly parking charges, including:
- Blue badge holders
- Patients that attend regular appointments to manage long-term conditions
- Parents of sick children staying in hospital overnight
- Staff working night shifts
- Disabled people
Currently, NHS trusts are responsible for making their own car parking arrangements, including setting any charges. The Press Association recently used issued a Freedom of Information Act request, obtaining data from more than 140 NHS trusts which showed that a third of hospitals in England increased car parking charges last year.
Around £254 million had been raised during 2018 and 2019 - up from £232 million the year before. Hourly charges ranged from £1 and £4 for an hour. A survey carried out by the media agency showed that an overwhelming majority of the respondents are unhappy with the charges.
Commenting on the move, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that ending hospital parking charges was one of the main concerns during the election doorsteps campaign, “we are delivering on our manifesto commitment and setting out our new approach to NHS hospital parking charges. ”